Concentrations:
Visual, Visualized, and upon the Breath.


There are several different ranges of concentrations used for a deepening of the experience of the source of focus. All of them depend upon the mind being stilled of extraneous thought and focused upon one ideal, symbol, or experience.

By sitting quietly and centering one's attention on a single element, one can begin to gain an appreciation for, understanding of, and unfolding experience of that quality. When one combines the element with another or others one then also begins to comprehend and internalize that, or those, relationships. This leads to a unfolding of the deeper mystery of that form; which in turn can lead to a greater realization and expression of it.

This expression is done through both the attitude, intelligence (or mind), and the actions of a person. It is not of full benefit in the life of a person until it can be manifested, or shown, in the daily life of the individual. This does not have to be "splashy" and does not even have to be discussed, expressed through word or writing; nor through form or structures. Rather, it is enough that it, the understanding, is carried in the breath and heart; and is therefore realized through the actions of the person. In this manner it is conveyed.

In concentration, we focus all attention. Many times people try to force the mind and thought to come to rest. This only causes more wandering of it. Rather than do that, it is easier if one slowly and gently guides the mind to the object of attention. This is done by not worrying about or considering the interruption to the concentration; the intrusion of thought; or the movement of the mind. It is both easier and more effective if one give it its due (so to speak) and allows it to come back to the task at hand. This allows one to more quickly find the centering feeling, which then leads to focusing more and more - until it finally excludes other thought or meanderings.

When one takes that approach it is less stressful, and there are not the negative overtones of self reproachment or frustration. It takes some time and practice to do that, but that is what practice is about.

On the following pages are several focal points upon which to concentrate. We will start with some that can visually seen. If you wish to do them, you will have to draw out the image or images on a piece of paper. Perhaps in the future they will be on the site here for you to print out and use, but that is not the case now. I would suggest a plain white sheet of paper that is cut into a square. A sheet of typing or copy paper is fine. Draw the symbol or image in dark black on the paper. Place it so that you can conveniently look at it while sitting in a comfortable position equivalent to that used in meditation. Let yourself be drawn in to the image or symbol, becoming it and it becoming more of you. Feel and sense the understanding of it. You can then let the quality of it grow on the breath of that image. This can all be done with the eyes open; and for this part of the practice, should be done that way.

When you have practiced this concentration upon the symbol in this way for several times, you will gain a strengthening of the image. It is then that you can put away the paper and focus your attention on it as an internal or visualized symbol/image. You then can let that level and understanding unfold more as part of yourself without the visual stimuli used as a "training method" to return the attention to.

The final stage in this process, for our purposes here, is to take the breath of the focus and let that become the impetus for the concentration. Then, follow it, and let that unfold within yourself and lead you to greater understanding, integration, and action. However, for a start we will concentrate on the drawn, visual symbol.

Eventually there will be links on this page to further concentrations that you can use. For the time being, there is only the page on symbols for concentration. This however, is plenty to use.



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